Jupiter had something seriously huge smash into it on Wednesday. The Cosmos don’t give a shit about us!
I’ve long known that Jupiter serves as a bulwark for the rest of the solar system. Eating some tremendously large objects to protect the rest of it. Whelp, Wednesday night? Something seriously huge smashed into the planet. This all, you know, underscores the importance of getting humans spread across the solar system. Diversify our asses for when Earth inevitably takes one right off the chin.
Amateur astrophotographer Ethan Chappel was using his telescope to look for Perseid meteors on Wednesday night when he happened to capture an image of something very large slamming into Jupiter. It was most likely a massive meteor. From Sky and Telescope:
After running the camera data through a program designed to alert the user to just such transient events, Chappel spotted a flash of light in the planet’s South Equatorial Belt (SEB). It expanded from a pinpoint to a small dot before fading away — telltale signs of a possible impact based on previous events observed at Jupiter….
If confirmed this would be the 7th recorded impact at the solar system’s biggest planet since July 1994, when 21 fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed into the planet in succession to create a rosary of dark impact boils visible in amateur telescopes.